Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Barrett's Esophagus Anatomy

To better understand Barrett's esophagus, it helps to understand the anatomy of the esophagus.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that propels food from the mouth, to the stomach. It begins in the pharynx, just below the base of the tongue, and passes through the chest, next to the spine. It then passes through the diaphragm before emptying into the stomach.

The bottom of the esophagus opens during swallowing, and then closes after the food has entered the stomach. This prevents food from leaking back into the esophagus.

Anatomy examples:

  • Junction of esophagus and stomach
  • Entire intestinal tract

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Barrett's Esophagus References
  1. Shaheen NJ. Advances in Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Gastroenterology. 2005 May;128(6):1554-66. [15887151]
  2. Sharma P, Sidorenko EI. Are screening and surveillance for Barrett's oesophagus really worthwhile? Gut. 2005 Mar;54 Suppl 1:i27-32. [15711005]
  3. Souza RF, Spechler SJ. Concepts in the prevention of adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and proximal stomach. CA Cancer J Clin. 2005 Nov-Dec;55(6):334-51: [16282279]
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